Mon. Dec 17th, 2018

When The Dutch Ruled The World: Rise and Fall of the Dutch East India Company

When The Dutch Ruled The World: Rise and Fall of the Dutch East India Company

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52nd video of the Behind the Business Series.

The Netherlands is one of Europe’s economic centers, despite its small size. This surprising twist of history is due, however, to a less savory turn of events.

During the 16th century the Dutch were under the dominion of the Spanish Empire and they didn’t like that very much. They fought for their independence for 80 years and their country suffered greatly because of it.

Back then the Spanish controlled the lucrative Asian spice trade, which the Dutch economy relied on. However, when the Spanish closed off Lisbon (then the spice hub of the world) the Dutch had no choice but to sail to the Far East and claim the spice trade for themselves.

While the Spanish were bogged down in a costly war against the English, the Netherlands swooped in and took over the Asian spice trade through their Dutch East India Company (VOC). In the span of a few decades this new business venture grew to massive proportions and funded the Dutch independence effort, as well as massive land reclamation.

Eventually the VOC declined and a perfect storm of wars abroad and at home eventually destroyed it. But after two centuries of operation this one company left an impressive legacy of colonial scars and capitalist wealth that still influences the Netherlands to this day.

Under the kind patronage of Nagabhushanam Peddi, James Gallagher & Brett Gmoser.

46 thoughts on “When The Dutch Ruled The World: Rise and Fall of the Dutch East India Company

  1. I pay my respects for the Dutch for having a long peaceful trading business with Japan since 1609. Back than the Dutch were allowed to stay and trade with Japan, but on serious restrictions they were to live only on a artificial man made island called Daijima in Nagasaki. And remember the Dutch were the second European traders to start business with Japan, the Portuguese were the first European traders in Japan since 1543 and the Portuguese did a terrible business with Japan with the spread of Roman Catholicism and causing so many deaths, Christianity was not welcomed in Japan after the Shimabara Rebellion of 1638, the Dutch were their to support the Tokugawa Shogun and keep their trade agreement with Japan. So the Dutch stayed in Japan and the Portuguese were killed or kicked out of Japan forever, also Japan closed its country from the outside world except for the Dutch until 1854.

  2. History teacher here. If I gave out an assignment to explain the rise of the VOC and this would be handed in, it would likely not pass the assignment. Why? Because you fail to mention the absolute most important thing: The 'Moedernegotie" (mother of all trade), which was the sole reason the Netherlands was able to do all this.

  3. When Samuel Pypes was in control of provisioning and financing the English Fleet, the English once managed to catch and bring to Southampton the last ship of a Dutch fleet of over 263 ships coming back from the East Indies as a flottilla. He came on deck to inspect the ship. Under his boots he heard something crack. When he looked down he saw a crushed clove. At that time, cloves were more expensive than diamonds. He got angry and reprimanded the captain and officers of so much neglect. He descended into the hold of the ship. When he got there, he started to cry. He was knee-deep in cloves. The cloves on deck had fallen out of boots of sailors who presumedly inadvertently got some cloves stuck in there. Pepys writes that the value of the cargo was enough to pay for the upkeep of the English war fleet for one year. And this was only one ship of 263, a ship the Dutch even did not deemed valuable enough to defend.

  4. Slavery was populair, but The Dutch as merchants wheren't able to ocupy that market.. Portugal, Spain, France and England had it and Saudi Arabia gladly provided the rounded up African Natives, they got rich from that before oil was needed. And Spain, Portugal and France and England where also converting every foreign native to their Christian faith.. The Dutch didn't. That was the reason Japan closed its empire off, but only let the Dutch in for almost 400 years as only foreign to them country on their land, Japan wanted to trade, so did the Dutch, not wanting to make Japanese peoples Christians. And thereby destroy their legacy.

  5. British East india Company made britain Rich
    Dutch East india company made dutch rich
    but at what prize ? oh never mind cause my poor indian ancestors suffered

  6. No wonder most Western countries are now collapsing. They got rich by importing exotic goods (for which I can't blame them) and then fucking over their trading partners by colonizing them. But you need a constant inflow of money to maintain your wealth and a lot of that is now disappearing.

  7. Some Dutch people hate muslims, insisting that they are cruel people….but for centuries Dutch people had brutally oppressed millions of Indonesia muslims. Even capable of massacring the whole island of natives to control spice trade.

  8. You forget the mention of the enormously wealthy trade ports in the north. We traded a lot grain with Europe from the east. (we needed to pay Denmark a 1% tax to pass which delivered 50% of their government revenue) This was purely free trade so it didn't require any military expenses so it was very profitable.

  9. Because off all history we are very developed and open minded. Yet the downside is that the workpressure is extremely high. Still the Germans are economic specialist, which we profit off and are dependable on. We are also dependend on the US but that is turning south now 🙄

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